About Kent

Essential Kent 2016

The key facts listed below are available in Essential Kent 2016 (pdf) produced by Enrolment Management Services. University staff can request a hard copy from the Print Office.

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Kent in brief

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  • Shortlisted for University of the Year by both the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2015 and The Times Good University Guide 2016
  • A top 20 university - ranked 16th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2016
  • In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for the intensity of its excellent research, out of 122 multi-faculty universities
  • Fifth highest score for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2015, out of 115 multi-faculty institutions
  • One of 15 universities in the UK to have a Nuffield Q Step Centre, designed to provide undergraduate students with advanced training in quantitative method


  • We provide an excellent education delivered by world-class researchers
  • Our curriculum and student experience equips graduates for professional and personal success
  • Recipient of an Athena SWAN Charter Bronze award and seven school level Bronze awards for supporting the career progression of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) areas
  • The University has been honoured with Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education twice in six years.


  • Kent is known as the 'UK's European university'
  • Campuses in Canterbury and Medway, a centre for part-time study in Tonbridge, and the only UK university with specialist postgraduate centres in four European capital cities: Athens, Brussels, Paris and Rome
  • New buildings at the Canterbury and Medway campuses; new and larger premises for the Brussels School of International Studies opened in October 2015.


See the courses pages of the website for further information about courses.

The UK's European university

Where the world meets Europe:

  • Many of our programmes offer dual UK and European qualifications (international double awards) at Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral level
  • Kent is the only UK university to be involved in the Erasmus Mundus Lotus Project, linking nine universities from the EU and 11 from SouthEast Asia
  • We have one of the highest percentages of students studying under the Erasmus scheme of any multi-faculty UK university
  • 11% of our students are from other EU countries, 16.5% are from overseas
  • Kent offers a wealth of European and international opportunities for study, work and travel in a stimulating and effective learining community

See the European website for further information.

Fast Facts

Annual income £234.3m
Research income £13.9m
Philanthropic income £1.34m
Number of donors 1,988
Annual surplus £11.7m in 2014-15
Investment in facilities and resources £231m over the last ten years
Planned investment in faciities and resources Over £238m in five years to 2019-20
Student support Busaries, scholarships, grants and awards of £7.5m for undergraduates and £11.4m for postgraduates (2014-15)
Student accommodation 5,400 bedrooms at Canterbury, 1,100 at Liberty Quays in Medway
Employability rate In 2014, less than 6% of Kent graduates were without a job or further study opportunity six months after graduation
Total number of students 20,155
Undergraduate full-time students 15,390
Postgraduate full-time students 2,675
Undergraduate part-time students 1,060
Postgraduate part-time students 1,025
New enrolment 6,025 new undergraduates and 2,715 new postgraduates registered in December 2015
Student population 53% women, 47% men
Student profile Students from 148 nationalities: 71.6% (UK), 11.0% (Europe) 16.5% (overseas)
Retention rate 96.7%
2014-15 awards 4,045 undergraduate awards; 1,770 postgraduate awards (1,595 taught, 175 research)
Student employment rate in 2014, less than 6% of Kent graduates were without a job or further study opportunity six months after graduation (compared to 7% nationally)
Staff numbers 3,773 members of staff, of which 1,872 are academic, teaching and research staff
Staff population 54% women, 46% men
Staff profile 75% (UK), 24% from Europe and overseas. 37% of Kent's academic staff are from outside the UK
Student to staff ratio 12.0:1
Alumni 150,000 from over 180 countries
Enterprise and innovation 5,128 students and 130 companies engaged with the University's nationally-recognised Employability Points scheme in 2014-15
Fairtrade status Kent has been a designated Fair trade university since 2006
Recycling The University recycled around 58% of its waste and aims to increase this to 65% in 2016

A commitment to research excellence

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

  • Kent's status as a leading UK research university was underlined in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, which assesses quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • The Times Higher Education (THE)'s REF league tables ranked Kent 17th in the UK for research intensity out of 122 multi-faculty universities
  • The REF also confirmed that Kent has world-leading research across all its subject areas, and that 97% of the University's research is of international quality
    • Our score for research power increased by 59%, the third largest increase of top 50 research intensive universities
    • Since 2008, we have increased the number of research-active staff by 40%
    • Seven of our subject areas are in the top ten for research intensity: architecture; biological sciences; English language and literature; history; law; pharmacy; social work and social policy; theology and religious studies
    • Four of our subject areas are in the top ten for research impact: classics; physics; social work and social policy; theology and religious studies
  • Contributing to the University's REF success were the number of its world-class publications, number of research active staff and demonstrable impact that Kent's research has made to the sciences and to economic, social and cultural understanding.

Eastern Academic Research Consortium (Eastern Arc)

  • The University of East Anglia (UEA), the University of Essex and the University of Kent have joined together to form a significant new force in research collaboration and training. The consortium builds on recent partnership bids fro doctoral training awards, and on a range of other bilateral research relationships


  • Kent is a member of the SGroup; a European Universities Network comprised of over 30 members from 15 European countries. Our admission to the group is in recognition of its strong record of participation iin collaborative European research and teaching projects

ESRC South East Doctoral Training Centre (SEDTC)

  • The South East Doctoral Training Centre (SEDTC) is an Economic and Social Research Council accredited consortium of four partner institutions (the Universities of Kent, REading, Royal Holloway and Surrey). The SEDTC draws on a rich variety of collaborations in research training across the partner institutions and provides funding for research scholarships in the Social Sciences

Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South East England (CHASE)

  • Kent is part of the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South East England (CHASE), which brings together nine leading institutions engaged in collaborative research activities including an Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral training partnership
  • CHASE comprises the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex; the Open University; the Courtald Institute of Art; Goldsmiths, University of London; Birkbeck, University of London and SOAS,University of London


  • The EnvEast Doctoral Training PArtnership provides studentships and training for postgraduate researchers in Environmental Science and draws together expertise from the Universities of KEnt,eEast Anglia and Essex as well as ten research centres of national and international importance

See the Research website for further information.


  • Canterbury: The Canterbury campus is built on 300 acres of park land half-an-hour’s walk from Canterbury city centre. Residential, teaching and administrative buildings are surrounded by green open spaces, fields and woods. It is a vibrant, friendly and cosmopolitan campus, with excellent sports and social facilities including a theatre, cinema and nightclub. The Canterbury campus houses over 4,300 students in rooms, flats and houses
  • Medway: The Medway campus is a multimillion-pound campus, with state-of-the-art buildings and facilities. It offers high-quality teaching, learning and leisure opportunities, and an exceptional level of personal support. It is a vibrant and modern campus in a great riverside location, and only 30 miles from London. In conjunction with Liberty Living, the University offers Medway students accommodation in our state-of-the-art facilities at Liberty Quays
  • Brussels: The University of Kent at Brussels is a specialist postgraduate school located in a world centre for international affairs
  • Paris: The University of Kent at Paris has a range of unique and innovative cross-disciplinary postgraduate programmes in the humanities
  • Tonbridge: The University Centre Tonbridge is a small, friendly environment dedicated to part-time study
  • Athens: Heritage Management, combining the study of archaeology and business, is offered at the archaeological site of Eleusina in one of the world's most ancient cities
  • Rome: Canterbury and Rome have been linked since the Middle Ages by the pilgrimage route Via Francigena. The study of the ancient world is offered in the centre of classical antiquity.

International impact

  • The University has a strong international impact, based on our external networks, partnerships with leading universities in Europe and around the world, and our staff, students and alumn
  • We launched our Internationalisation Strategy in 2007. Since then, we have reinforced our reputation as the UK’s European university and further developed a network of international partnerships worldwide
  • The University has a long tradition of welcoming international students from around the world. Of our total student body, 16.5% are from outside of the UK, from 148 different countries, studying at our campuses in Canterbury, Medway, Paris and Brussels.

See the International website for further information.

Enterprise and innovation

  • The University is committed to growing beneficial collaborations with public, private and third sector organisations. We believe strong partnerships between business and academia enhance both the professional standing of members of staff, and the status of the University, providing opportunities for the institution to directly contribute to the UK economy and society
  • Established iniatives such as the the Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme, the Year in Business Start-up Scheme, the nationally-recognised Employability Points scheme and a number of credited enterprise modules for undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • The Hub for Innovation and Enterprise (HIVE) is a dedicated facility for staff, students and graduates to support innovative and high-growth businesses from start-up and development:
    • 86 companies have been created and developed at the University of Kent's incubator space since 2010
    • As a result, 146 jobs have been created in the local community
    • Student Enterprise has run 746 business advice sessions since 2010

Regional impact

  • The University and its students generated £0.7bn for the south-east region
  • The University provides almost 3,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and provides employment opportunities for over 5,000 of its students annually
  • Nearly 40,000 alumni have remained in the county of Kent
  • We offer a comprehensive programme of workshops and activities with regional schools and colleges, and our Student Ambassador Scheme
    has been in operation for more than ten years
  • Kent Law Clinic received 1,827 enquiries and handled 150 cases
  • Our students logged over 94,000 volunteering hours during the 2014-15 academic year
  • Gulbenkian was awarded National Portfolio Organisation status with the Arts Council of England for three years from April 2015
  • From June to September 2015, the University's Conference Office staged more than 4,356 events and booked 132,000 overnight stays, raising revenue of £3.8m
  • Kent Union's Raise and Give (RaG) raised £166,562 in the 2014-15 academic year

See the Regional impact website for further information.

Kent Union: Empowering students

To have a voice

  • 181 trained course representatives
  • 52% of Kent Union's memebrs participated in their democratic structures throughout the year
  • 17,347 votes cast in the Kent Union Leadership Elections

To get the most from university

  • 8,260 students involved in Kent Union sports clubs and societies - 3,298 sports club members and 4,962 society members
  • Over 3,900 students attended the annual summer ball: Party in the Car Park
  • 76% agree that Kent Union has empowered them to get the most from university

To fulfil their potential

  • 520 students employed by Kent Union
  • £865,800 paid to students employed by Kent Union
  • 2,010 temporary jobs provided by Jobshop
  • 1,878 students used the Kent Union Toolkit
  • 124 Stand Out training sessions offered
  • 1,947 hours spent training studemts employed by Kent Union
  • 3,906 students helped by the Kent Union Advice Centre
  • 3,252 studemts helped by the Advice Centre Information desk
  • 2,792 of Kent Union's memebers undertook volunteering projects, totalling 94,756 hour

To run our effective charity with a clear sense of purpose

  • £57,661 invested in training our staff
  • 15th place in the Sunday Times Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to work for 2015.

All figures taken from the Kent Union Impact Report 2014-15

Faculties and schools

There are three faculties at Kent, comprising 18 academic schools and 3 academic centres.

  • Humanities Kent School of Architecture; School of Arts; School of English; School of European Culture and Languages; School of History; School of Music and Fine Art
  • Sciences School of Biosciences; School of Computing; School of Engineering and Digital Arts; School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science; Medway School of Pharmacy; School of Physical Sciences; School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Social Sciences School of Anthropology and Conservation; Kent Business School; School of Economics; Centre for Journalism; Kent Law School; School of Politics and International Relations; School of Psychology; School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research; Centre for Sports Studies; Centre for Professional Practice

See the Departments and schools website for further information.

The University’s Plan 2015-2020

The University of Kent is a forward-thinking research institution committed to the transformative power of education and research. In 1965, The Times commented that Kent was 'setting out to be different', and our fiftieth anniversary has given the opportunity for us to reflect on our past and re-discover what makes us distinctive.

Further information about the University's intentions for the future is published here

Executive Group portfolios

  • Vice-Chancellor and President of the University: Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow
  • Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost
    David Nightingale – institutional planning, overall academic provision, Medway Campus, KentHealth and International Development.
  • Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer
    Denise Everitt – Commercial Services, Estates, Human Resources, Information Services, Safety, Health and the Evnvironment and legal services.
  • Deputy-Vice-Chancellor Research & Innovation
    Professor Phillipe De Wilde – research, Kent Innovation and Enterprise, and the Graduate School.
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education
    Professor April McMahon – education and student experience.
  • Director of Finance
    Jane Higham – finance, risk management, value for money and internal audit
  • Secretary to Council
    Dr Keith Lampard – governance and compliance

See also Principal Officers

University history

1965 Royal Charter granted
  First 500 students enrol
  Launch of University of Kent at Canterbury radio (UKCR) - the oldest student radio station in the UK. Still broadcasting today as CSR.fm and run entirely by student volunteers
1965 – 70 Elliot, Rutherford, Keynes and Darwin Colleges open (Canterbury)
1968 Graduation of the first intake of students
1969 Opening of the Gulbenkian Theatre and Cinema (Canterbury)
1970 Opening of the Registry and Senate (Canterbury)
1974 Collapse of the Cornwallis Building (Canterbury)
1982 Opening of the Tonbridge Centre
1986 Opening of the Research & Development Centre (Canterbury)
1987 Formal opening of the Computing Laboratory Extension by HM The Queen (Canterbury)
1990 Year-long Silver Jubilee celebrations
1995 Tyler Court Block A accommodation opens (Canterbury)
1997 First programmes launched at Bridge Wardens' College in The Historic Dockyard, Chatham (Medway)
1998 University of Kent, Bruss
2002 HM The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh inaugurate the joint Medway campus during a visit to Chatham Maritime
2004 Launch of the Medway School of Pharmacy at Chatham Maritime, a joint project for the Universities of Kent and Greenwich
Tyler Court Blocks B and C accommodation opens (Canterbury)
2005 First students at Medway campus
Park Wood flats open (Canterbury) and the Medway Building opens (Medway)
2006 The Pilkington and Gillingham Buildings open (Medway)
2008 Woolf Postgraduate College opened (Canterbury)
Kent Graduate School is established
2009 Postgraduate centre in Paris launched
First Liberty Quays student accommodation opens (Medway)
2011 New accommodation at Keynes College opens (Canterbury)
Specialist postgraduate programmes at Athens launched
2012 Colyer-Fergusson Music Building opens (Canterbury)
Multimillion-pound refurbishment of the School of Music and Fine Art facilities at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham completed (Medway)
2013 Specialist postgraduate programmes in Rome launched
New student residences open at Liberty Quays (Medway)
Refurbished Sports Centre opened (Canterbury)
2014 Turing College opens (Canterbury)
Phase 1 of the Templeman Library extension and refurbishment completed (Canterbury)
2015 New and refurbished facilities for Kent Business School open and the Royal Dockyard Church is refurbished as a lecture theatre at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham (Medway)


Corporate Communications

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 1227 764000

Last Updated: 02/11/2016